Most Android smartphones now come with fixed icon sizes, but what if you’d like to have larger or smaller icons, so as to fit more of them on the home screen? Fortunately, select smartphone models do allow users to do this natively – you just have to search through their settings.
For the rest of us, there’s the option to install third-party launchers, which provide a straightforward solution if you are looking to change the size of your icons. You can also magnify your icons temporarily. This article goes over all three methods.
1. Try a Third-Party Launcher
Most third-party launchers will get the job done to change the icon size to your preferences. A few popular choices include the Nova Launcher, Apex Launcher, Smart Launcher, POCO Launcher and the newer Niagara Launcher.
Nova Launcher is probably the most well-known Android launcher – and with good reason. The app brings a fast and customizable experience, allowing users to give their phone a makeover to their preferences without slowing down the device’s overall performance.
- Open “Nova Settings” on your device.
- Tap on “Home screen” at the top of the display.
- Select the “Icon layout” option.
- Move your finger along the “Icon size” slider to adjust the size of your app icons.
- Tap back and check out the results. If you’re still not happy with how it all looks, go back and play with the setting again.
- If you’re installing Nova for the first time, you can set the “Icon size” from the preview window. The icon size you choose here will be applied to the home screen as well as the app drawer.
- Moreover, you can customize how the apps are arranged for both by going to “Home Screen -> Desktop Grid” and “App Drawer -> Drawer App Grid” and selecting how many rows and columns of icons you want to see in each.
Apex Launcher is another great alternative for those looking to customize their Android, as it offers a good balance of features, including a change in app size and performance.
- Open the Apex Menu on your device.
- Select “Home Screen” from the list of options that appear.
- Tap on “Layout & Style.”
- Scroll down until you find the “Icon size” slider and use it to determine the size of your icons. You’ll see the results of your changes in real time above.
- Once you’re satisfied with the arrangement, tap back and check the results.
- You can also fiddle with the app layout and select how many rows and columns of icons you want on your home screen. The more columns you add, the smaller the icons will get.
- In addition, if you wish to resize the app icons in your app drawer, go to “Settings -> App Drawer -> Drawer Layout & Icons.” Here you can resize the icons and adjust the layout as well.
Smart Launcher 6
Smart Launcher 6 is a launcher app that has been around for a while. It is packed with great features, like automatically sorting your apps into several categories. Of course, the app also lets you change your app icon size.
- On your device with Smart Launcher 6, swipe up from the bottom of the screen. You’ll see the different app categories that the launcher uses to group your apps. Tap on any of them.
- Tap on the three-dot menu in the top right of the display.
- The “App page” window will appear on your screen. Tap on “Show all settings” to go to the app’s general Settings.
- Find and select “Global appearance.”
- Click on “Grid properties.”
- Select “Home page” or “App page” at the top, then use the “Icon size” slider below to decide how large your icons should be.
- From the same section, you can also customize your app grid by selecting how many columns and rows of apps you want to have on your display.
- For your “Home page,” you can easily switch between two premade layouts: “Standard” and “Dense.”
POCO Launcher 2
The POCO Launcher provides you with another simple way to change the size of your app icons. It boasts a simple, clean UI that won’t slow down your phone. Unlike some of the other launchers on our list, it doesn’t offer a truckload of features, but the ability to tweak app icon sizes is included.
- Swipe up on your device to bring up the app drawer.
- Tap on the three-line menu in the upper-right corner.
- Go to “Customize layout.”
- Select the size you want your icons to be and how many you wish to see in a row (options are limited compared to other launchers).
Niagara Launcher is part of the newer crop of launcher apps. It boasts a quick and minimalist interface that is great for low-end devices. It lets users set up a fresh home screen layout that features up to eight of your most frequently used apps. The rest of the apps are accessible from the A-Z list on the right side of the display. Niagara’s Launcher feature pack includes the option to change the app icon size.
- Long-tap on one of your home screen icons.
- Select “Niagara settings.”
- Tap on “Look.”
- Slide your finger on the “App icon size” bar to select how you want them to look.
- Go back and check the result.
As you can see, launchers have your back when it comes to helping you customize the size of your app icons. But depending on which type of smartphone you have, you may not need to download a launcher app to get the job done.
2. Dig Into Your Phone’s Settings
Some phones offer the option to change your app icons’ size natively. For example, Pixel users can do this easily by following these steps.
- Long-press on an empty space on your Pixel’s home screen.
- Select “Wallpaper & Style.”
- Go to “App grid.”
- Select a grid size. If you’re looking to increase the size of your icons, select the 3×3 or 2×2 option. If you wish to go smaller, select 5×5 or 4×5.
Note: this feature only affects how icons look on your home screen. Apps in your app drawer will remain the same size.
Alternatively, you can also change the size of your app icons if you’re using a Samsung phone with One UI on board.
- Long- press on an empty space on the home screen on your Samsung device.
- Tap on the “Settings” icon.
- You should be able to see the “Home screen grid” and “Apps screen grid” options.
- These give you the option to change the ratio of apps on your phone’s home and app screens, which will have the effect of changing their size.
3. Magnify App Icons Only Temporarily
Another trick you can use to temporarily alter the size of your app icons is to tap into your phone’s Accessibility features (if these are available).
- Go to “Settings -> Accessibility” on your phone.
- Select “Magnification.”
- Toggle on the “Magnification shortcut” option.
- Tap “Got it” in the pop-up window that tells you to triple-tap anywhere on your screen to start the magnification process.
- The magnification window will pop up on the screen. Tap on the finger-shaped icon in the box’s lower-right corner and drag your finger toward an icon you want to magnify.
- It will zoom in on it.
- To exit the Magnification mode, triple-tap again anywhere on this screen.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I change how my Android icons look?
Yes. You can set a custom icon for each of your Android apps. If you’re curious about the process, we have an article detailing how to create a new icon for an app on Android. Alternatively, you can download and install an alternative app icon pack from the Play Store. There are plenty to choose from, including Moonshine and Whicons.
Can I customize the shape of my Android icons?
Yes. These days most phones give you the option to change the shape of your Android icons. Depending on your phone model, you might have various choices at your disposal, but in most cases, you’ll find square and circle options are available. If you install a launcher on your device, you’ll get even more options.
Can I customize my system icons' appearance as well?
The answer is yes once more. System icons appear in your Quick menu. Depending on your phone model, it’s possible to customize their shape, accent color, etc. If you find that your phone lacks this option, you can always turn to a third-party app for help.
Image credit: Geri Pix via Pexels. All screenshots by Alexandra Arici.
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